Last month I got the opportunity to photograph with Sophie on her University project. She decided to combine her love for pole dancing with her final project glass blowing for this photo shoot. With the idea of the pole being the metal rod used in glass blowing and her body as the glass, Sophie wanted to create some shapes as inspiration for her project. I absolutely love playing with light and slow shutter speed photography so when she contacted me with this project I was over the moon to do this pole dancing photo shoot.
We did 3 different styles for her project, slow shutter speeds with bursts of flash, the use of LED lights and a powder shoot. These are pole dancing photo shoots I’ve wanted to try for ages but never seemed to have the opportunity so I did a bit of research and a test photography shoot before hand.
Method of Photo shoot one
The first style for the photo shoot was a slow shutter speed with bursts of flash. To achieve this effect I used a shutter speed of 3 seconds and a wireless trigger to the lighting, when I saw a shape I liked I would click the trigger freezing the motion. To capture motion in-between the burst of light its important to have some background light, in this case I let the natural light flood in as my modelling light died on me however I experimented with a couple different lights before deciding upon this. All of these techniques mixed together result in a picture full of movement while also appreciate the frozen frames rather than just one big blur.
Method of Photo shoot two
For the next part of the pole dancing photo shoot I used light movement. This was definitely my favourite of the three pole photo shoots but was probably the most challenging. With a bit of DIY (duct tape) we managed to attach a string of battery powered LED lights to Sophie however had a few difficulties making them stay while she was pole dancing. Never the less, we just kept sticking them back on and came out with some very cool shots. This one in particular is my favourite from the pole photo shoot. To achieve this is very similar to the previous style, I used a 3 second exposure and pressed the trigger when she was in a position to freeze her movement. For this part of the pole dancing photo shoot it wasn’t needed to have any other light than the studio set up as I was looking more for the movement of the lights rather than her body.
Method of Photo shoot three
The final aspect of the pole dancing photo shoot was the pole dancing powder shoot. This was quite difficult due to the fact we had been photographing for an hour at this point and Sophie had been pole dancing all of this time. So physically the shoot was very demanding for Sophie, most of my pole dancing photo shoots are 30 minutes to an hour, so she had done amazing by this point. We still got some beautiful pictures that we are both pleased with however have learnt that it would be better to split such a demanding shoot over different days. The technical side of the photo shoot was pretty simple, I needed to use a super fast flash to capture the powder and we just played around with different moves and ways of throwing it. It certainly left a big mess however was totally worth it and I would definitely this type of pole dancing photo shoot again.
Overall this pole dancing photo shoot went super well, it was so much fun going back to the roots of photography and experimenting with light and movement. Sophie was a pleasure to photograph and it was fantastic being apart of her pole dancing journey.